RECAP: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story — The Prosecution Delivers Mark Fuhrman’s Head On A Platter [Episode 9]

Posted on Mar 30 2016 - 11:06am by Dani-K

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

On this week’s episode of The People v. O.J. Simpson, we see the “Manna From Heaven” for the defense by way of the Mark Fuhrman tapes. The best line of the night, “You wanted a black face, but you didn’t want a black voice,” said by Chris Darden to Marcia Clark in an elevator. In fact, there have been a lot of emotional elevator scenes in this series. Note to self: attorneys do their best work in an elevator.

We begin with O.J. Simpson’s arthritis doctor on the stand testifying that O.J. has the body of a grandfather. Then the jury watches a workout video made by said “grandfather” who has terrific flexibility just two weeks prior to the murders. Cut to an investigator following up on a tip about the existence of the tapes. A woman is watching the trial from her home in North Carolina when her phone rings. She is a screenwriter who couldn’t make it as a screenwriter so she now teaches screenwriting. Turns out, she interviewed Fuhrman for a script she was writing, but couldn’t sell, about the LAPD. She wants nothing to do with this trial or to help O.J. She hangs up the phone.

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Back in court, thing are getting personal between Cochran and Darden as they fire off racial accusations while cross-examining a witness. Judge Ito tells them to knock it off, but it’s too late, everyone has seen it. Meanwhile, the Dream Team has confirmed the authenticity of the tapes and must A) subpoena them from North Carolina and then B) get them admitted by Judge Ito. The men argue over who should fly across the county, but it’s decided that Johnnie and F. Lee Bailey will go.

The two pour over the transcripts and are horrified and sickened by the gold mine they have discovered in Mark Fuhrman as he used racial slur after racial slur to brag about brutalizing and torturing black men in his custody. But when Johnnie goes before the North Carolina judge and demands the tapes, he is denied. Outside Johnnie in enraged the judge wouldn’t enforce the subpoena. F. Lee points to a confederate statue and suggests that Johnnie let him do the talking at the emergency appeal. After F. Lee’s smooth southern soliloquy was heard by the judges, the tapes were immediately delivered to the LA courts.

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Judge Ito grants both sides the opportunity to listen to the tapes, but they must remain sealed and kept from the courtroom. Things are bad enough as Marcia and Chris listen, but they soon hear something much worse when Fuhrman is on the tapes saying vulgar things about Judge Ito’s wife – the highest ranking female in the LAPD. In fact, in order for Ito to be assigned to the Simpson trial, his wife had to sign an affidavit stating she had no dealings with Fuhrman that she recalled. Well Fuhrman certainly recalled her. Did Ito’s wife lie when she signed the affidavit? How did she not recall reprimanding Fuhrman for writing KKK on a MLK poster? The possibility of a mistrial looms again – and quite frankly – I don’t know why there wasn’t one.

Upon learning of the horrible words used by Fuhrman on the tape, Judge Ito gives a touching speech about women succeeding in a male-dominated field. He decides that it’s best that another judge makes the decision about the tapes – but that judge wants more time for a comprehensive look at the case. No telling how long that’s going to take. In the meantime, why not organize a coalition of black community leaders to demand an investigation, because Los Angeles isn’t enough of a powder keg about to blow. Johnnie leads the group chant, “Release the tape! Release the tape!”

So the tapes are ruled admissible, but Judge Ito wants the court to listen to the tapes in their entirety before deciding which parts are admissible. The court listens as Fuhrman proudly described beating the faces of black people into “mush” and then washing the blood from his hands before going out to direct traffic. Everyone in the courtroom looks ill.

Later Marcia and Chris have an “I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you” moment about trying on the gloves and putting Fuhrman on the stand. That said – they still would not have won. This case was no longer about O.J. Simpson, but about decades of abuse from the LAPD to the black community members.

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

After the 13-hours of tapes are heard, Judge Ito decides that only two sentences will be permitted relating directly to Fuhrman’s perjury. The defense is not happy. They had been counting on the part about planting evidence. But it wouldn’t matter. When the most hated man in America, as F. Lee points out, “It’s hard to be hated by both sides,” takes the stand, he invokes his 5th amendment right on every question. Chris Darden doesn’t get to see this because he storms out of the courtroom when Fuhrman takes the stand, leaving Marcia to sit at the prosecution table alone. After getting nowhere, Johnnie asks one final question to Fuhrman: Did he plant or manufacture any evidence in this case? Again, Fuhrman pleads the 5th leaving a lasting impression with the jurors.

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As O.J. boasts about how well the day went, Bobby Kardashian looks like he is about to puke. The episode ends with good news for Marcia Clark though, she won primary custody of her children in her battle with her ex-husband.

Tune in next week for the finale. Are you sad to see this series come to an end or are you ready to move on?

 

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About the Author

I am so lucky to combine blogging with my guilty pleasure of watching reality TV. I read all the comments and respond to most. Feel free to reach out to me. If you like fiction, I have two published novels: Three Days in Purgatory and A Reason to Run. For more information, please visit me at: Twitter* * Website* * Facebook*

  • CNN

    Good job on the recap, Dani-K. Fuhrman is a piece of work. Yet this man works as a TV analyst and wrote a crime novel. He became wealthy in spite of these tapes. Only in America could a price racist be rewarded.

    • XOXO

      Isn’t that the damn truth. I was shocked the first time they used him as an analyst. WHY?

      • Aleggra

        Hey, XOXO! I’ve missed you on trash TV 😊
        North became an analyst for the same reason Trump is running for President. Some ppl have no critical thinking skills. At least North didn’t last long.

    • Dani-K

      Thanks CNN! I can’t believe Fuhrman’s working today as a TV analyst. Kind of like how I felt about Eliott Spitzer getting his own show after his scandal. Only in America.

      • aemish

        Or Oliver North or….

    • RonnieRIB

      Or possibly become President….

  • Dave

    Maybe after watching this episode the people will fully understand that OJ Simpson was acquitted not because he was innocent but because Mark Furhman was guilty!

    • CNN

      He admitted on tape that he planted evidence in cases before. Then plead the Fifth to a question asking whether or not he planted evidence in the OJ Simpson case which means either he didn’t or he did and didn’t know whether or not the defense had evidence of that. Either way those tapes proved his credibility as a witness which put reasonable doubt on his testimony.

      • Dave

        OJ was on trial not Mark Furhman. OJ is guilty.

        • Bad Barbie

          And it showed America that technicalities can blow a whole case out the frame.

          • RonnieRIB

            It happens all the time. I am glad John Q. Public is FINALLY seeing what really happens in real trials…that Judge Judy ish is not how things go down. It gets really messy inside and outside the courtroom…I’ve been to trials and let me tell you in my 27 years of experience with defense lititigation…I see why many drink…and why I drink…..it’s not for the weak at heart…you work nonstop….

          • Bad Barbie

            I think now that people are able to follow trials through webcast and blogs… we get to see how the law can be tricky and any misstep can ruin a whole case. Look at Casey Anthony. She got away with murdering her baby because the state overcharged that case! Ugh! This hurts my heart. Baby Caylee will never get justice. George Zimmerman is another example. Too many…

          • RonnieRIB

            Agreed.

          • Aleggra

            I don’t know how you do it. It’s frustrating as hell & don’t know if this is true or not but I’ve heard defense lawyers won’t take educated people w/degrees. That rules me out if so. I’ve heard they want high school or GED folks. Is this true?

          • RonnieRIB

            Please tell me you’re joking. Not only is it necessary to have a college education (which myself and the majority of my colleagues have obtained with high and or highest honors) but in order to engage in deductive reasoning, critical thinking and expert analysis it is impossible to perform the job without formal education (some can do it, but they do function beyond administrative work). We aren’t ambulance chasers and you rarely see defense attorneys with television ads hawking for clients. Defense firms would never entrust multi-billion dollar clients with the average joe. Again, it isn’t for the weak or ignorant. If this statement was made to get a rise out of me…fail. If this is what you truly believe, please do not continue to repeat such indecorous statements to others who work in defense litigation. It’s insulting and simply not true.

          • Aleggra

            LOL, no, no, no. I’m sorry. You misunderstood me. I wasn’t asking about your profession. Of course all lawyers MUST be educated. Everyone knows that! I was asking about how defense and prosecution go about choosing a jury.I’ve heard that in most cases, either the defense or the prosecution prefer jurors without college educations. I have no idea if this is true or not & that’s what I was asking about. I’ve never been on a jury but I’ve heard this from friends who have not been chosen. Some really wanted to be chosen but were told by the prosecution that they were most likely eliminated because of their college degrees. Now this might have been coincidence. I don’t know. That’s why I was asking about prospective JURORS, not lawyers!

          • RonnieRIB

            OK now I understand. Thanks for the clarification.

            That’s what the prosecution says as a cop out when they do not get the juro they really want to help them win. If the defendant is corporate, chances are we want someone who understands corporations so they have a jury of their peers, rather than someone who is the average Joe and has a hard on for “the man” so you never get a fair perspective. It really does depend on your client. Speaking of staff, most law firms nowadays (especially defense firms) are requiring their secretarial staffto have some college. Paralegals and lawyers, definitely. Again it depends on the firm, but not the practice.

          • Aleggra

            Ronnie, thanks for the info. It’s what I figured. I would imagine it also depends on what state you’re in or what part of town. I watched the Avery documentary which took place in Manitowoc County, Milwaukee. From what I saw, the jury pool came from poor, working class people so neither side had much of a choice. In the OJ trial, had they tried him in Santa Monica (very close to Brentwood), I don’t think the jury would’ve acquitted him. It’s where OJ chose to live with upper middle class people & less racial tensions (not to say that downtown doesn’t have upper middle class people. They do. But there’s much more of a mixture and more racial tensions, unlike Santa Monica). The minute Cochrane made this trial all about race, and not about the actual evidence, the prosecution was doomed.

          • RonnieRIB

            Yup
            Bingo!!!!

      • TopGear

        Furhman had to plead the fifth his perjury case was looming, he couldn’t answer anything pertaining to that. Ito should not have let them mix that with the OJ case questions, once you plead the fifth you have to continue pleading the fifth. As for racism he admitted he was a racist, he sued the LAPD for causing it.

      • XOXO

        I was thinking that too. It certainly appears that OJ did it but how much of the evidence can we believe? Fuhrman has made me question every bit of evidence. I can only imagine what the jury thought.

        • CNN

          Exactly. Who’s to say OJ really murdered Nicole. I know his guilt is public opinion but the public is not trial and jury. The courts heard the case and made their verdict.

        • JustNotCrazyAboutBitches

          It usually take 5 or 10 pieces of evidence to convict. This prosecution presented this stupid racist jury with over 400. To believe Fuhrman planted evidence is to believe 200+ other people involved in the case ALL got together to frame Simpson. Give me a fcking break. The black jury could have been presented with live footage of him butchering them and they would have found a loop hole or reason to acquit. But payback is a bitch, and in prison he rots (hopefully until he’s dead).

          • RonnieRIB

            The entire jury wasn’t all black.

            Either way, you are correct..they didn’t want to convict him…just like the jurors didn’t convince Zimmerman and Casey Anthony…..the burden of proof was on the prosecution and they failed….terribly.. because they allowed doubt to creep in again and again..

          • Pandora403

            I remember watching the trial and thinking to myself how much I hated the prosecution team. Having been on a jury I can say honestly that how the jury feels about the lawyers on the case (and even the judge!) can really make a difference in the outcome. Another thing I recall from the original trial is it was mentioned numerous times that these jurors had to return to their own homes and neighborhoods. Some black jurors were afraid of having a target on their back if OJ was convicted.

          • Aleggra

            True. This wouldn’t have happened in Santa Monica which is 10 minutes away from the crime scene.

          • JustNotCrazyAboutBitches

            The prosecution(s) did their jobs on all three of the controversial cases you mentioned and they got it right with Zimmerman.

          • Aleggra

            I said the same thing to my husband: the prosecution could’ve showed a video of OJ killing both victims. That jury would’ve said that Fuhrman edited it to look like Simpson. It was a lose-lose trial. He’s up for parole next year. Let’s hope Nevada keeps him until he’s ready for a nursing home.

      • RonnieRIB

        Yup. That was the nail in the coffin…

      • Aleggra

        Fuhrman didn’t kill Ron & Nicole. Have a separate trial for his crimes but convict the murderer. The jury didn’t care that two people were brutally butchered. They only cared that the LAPD has racist cops. I hope they’re watching this.

    • RonnieRIB

      Exactly and the prosecution blew it….hands down…

    • Aleggra

      Absolutely! Too bad the prosecution didn’t push for a mistrial– then change the venue to Santa Monica! Instead of golfing all of those years, he would’ve been in prison all of those years. Now he’s up for parole next year.

  • Chloe

    Look at murder pictures of Nicole Brown. They will come right up on your phone. The horrific nature of this crime gets lost in this nonsense. What about discrimination against women who get beaten by their husbands and nobody cares because you’re husband is a rich football player. No one says one word about that. That is the sad disgraceful truth about this case.

    • BigBrothersMother

      The victims, Nicole and Ron, were forgotten and not allowed justice. This case became about race and quite honestly, idk if I can watch the upcoming episode. I feel awful for the families of the victims.

    • JustNotCrazyAboutBitches

      I agree; Simpson brutally butchered his ex wife and Goldman, but I never did subscribe to her being any kind of abused victim; not by any stretch. I believe they loved and FOUGHT hard.

  • Nick’s daughter

    Thank you, Dani-K for recapping this 👏 you do a terrific job! In response, Yes, I am Ready for it to be over next week. We all know how ‘the story’ ends. I will watch to see the conclusion of this excellent mini-series!! Some of us chatted during ‘Open Post’ after the show aired on FX last night. Glad to watch something in addition to BRAVO/Housewives 😊… I enjoyed discussing it here! Really Appreciate it!!

    • CNN

      I wish Bravo would do scripted dramas of this nature. Hats off to FX for producers an excellent mini-series. I would not be surprised if the main characters all win Emmy’s.

      “The People v. OJ Simpson” has generated a lot of energy from viewers. It is doing an exceptional job giving us insight of the legal “professionals” involved and the emotional stress endured by the jury for 8 months. The show has shown us how incompetent the employees of the State of California actually were starting with Judge Ito, the District Attorney’s Office, the LAPD and last but not least the Jury.

      • Nick’s daughter

        You nailed it, CNN. What a great summary of the FX mini-series!! As I said, we know the ‘story as well as how it will end’. The insight provided was enlightening & eye-opening. It sure made for some quality tv time!☺

      • Dani-K

        Sarah Paulson, John Travolta, and Courtney B Vance for sure. The actor who plays Fred Goldman deserves a trophy for best-look-alike. I could go on and on, but I’m not sure about Nathan Lane because I keep wanting him to break into song – lol.

        • BigBrothersMother

          I’m having the same problem with Nathan Lane. LOL!!!

        • RonnieRIB

          Hey Dani I agree…but nathan Lane nailed F Lee Bailey..with his sleezy southern ish…I lived in Florida for 17 years…F Lee Bailey..has always been a dirty beast…slick and slimy…Travolta and Vance and Paulson will get Emmys for sure…they NAILED their parts…

    • Dani-K

      Very cool! Someone tweeted last night that they wished OJ had murdered more people so the show would continue – and I thought Cray-Cray. Ten episodes is the right amount.

      • Nick’s daughter

        What a horrible thing to put out there!! Makes me Glad I do not go on twitter/or tweet, that’s crazy & sickening! Agree with You, because even 10 episodes of quality tv Still brought up painful memories for friends & family of Nicole & Ron. I still have so much sympathy for them, their losses & re-living the tragedy. Hope they have peace of mind & in their hearts. We remember their loved ones…

  • Pandora403

    I watched the original trial and have been pleasantly surprised to see how much of the original transcript has been used verbatim. David Schwimmer has been a perfect Robert Kardashian. I never thought he could be so good in a straight dramatic role. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way but as wonderful an actor as Cuba Gooding, jr. is I jut don’t see him as OJ Simpson. I can’t put my finger on it but something doesn’t compute.

    • Dr. E

      Cuba Gooding jr isn’t tall enough, buff enough, or attractive enough to be OJ. Once it was known that OJ was a wife beater, his attributes that had seemed sexy suddenly seemed intimidating. You could see how manipulative and scary he might be. Cuba, as good an actor as he is, doesn’t give off the same vibe. He’s very miscast for this role (but I still enjoy the series)

      • JustNotCrazyAboutBitches

        Thank you; worst casting ever. But if they gave GaGa an Emmy for her horrible acting in AHS, this idiot is sure to get one too.

  • JustNotCrazyAboutBitches

    This shit show stinks. They’re portraying Clark and Darden as an insecure basket cases (false!). They’re portraying Cochran as an angry militant asshole (false!). Their portraying Shapiro like he’s the head honcho (false!) … but worst casting of all is D-list midget actor Cuba Gooding playing the killer himself.

    • Aleggra

      Hi, JustNotCrazy! Not stalking you but also watching this show 👓 I also agree about Gooding Jr. He’s just awful in this. Didn’t he study OJ’s mannerisms? He can’t even get OJ’s gestures right! Worst choice to play OJ!

      • JustNotCrazyAboutBitches

        Hey Aleg! Fancy meeting you here. IMO, CG Jr. is just one more in a long line of “token” winners because of the color of his skin. Louis Gossett, Whoopie, Monique’, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Lupita … does Halle Berry count?

        • Aleggra

          LOL, Halle Berry would’ve made a much better OJ. Put her in 10 inch heels & huge shoulder pads & she could’ve done a better job!

          • JustNotCrazyAboutBitches

            I also hate the way they’re portraying Cochran. He wasn’t this militant angry a-hole, but rather had a very friendly and disarming demeanor. Travola’s (cartoonish) Shapiro is all wrong too.

          • Aleggra

            Critics are especially harsh on Travolta. They say he’s acting like a wooden mannequin. Cochran is coming off way too militant to be a lawyer. He’s coming off way too angry. And Clark too passive & not very bright.

  • RonnieRIB

    Love lvoe this show/series and it is SPOT ON on what really went down…our law firm followed it daily in 1994/95….all deservee Emmys, especially the main casting. Cuba…not so much but he is funny …OJ really does believe his own chit and he was dead azz wrong….

    I am sad it is ending next week. This was goooooood.

    Great to see Marcia Clark in a better light..she had the entire world on her shoulders during this trial….and it is STILL a good ole boys club in teh legal field.

  • RonnieRIB

    Great reap Dani!!!!!